The ITIL V3 Intermediate courses and certification examinations are newly launched in most countries. The examination requires the candidate to answer Eight (8) multiple choice questions. Sounds easy but it is NOT. The questions are scenario based. You have to read about a page of text to understand the scenario, then read the four possible answers each consisting of a paragraph of text.

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The questions are gradient scored. Gradient scored means each question will have 4 possible answer options, one of which is worth 5 marks (best answer), one which is worth 3 marks (second best), one which is worth 1 mark (not so good), and one which is a distracter and achieves no marks. To pass, you need to score at least 28 marks, i.e you cannot afford to lose more than 12 marks. This means you need to choose the best answer for at least 4 questions to have a good chance to pass recommended quiz.

Here are my personal experiences and tips.

Tip #1: Time is of the essence

Having to answer 8 questions in 90 minutes, you have only approximately 11 minutes per question. There is a lot to read – 1 page scenario and 4 possible answers (1 paragraph per answer). Don’t spend too much time on a single question, especially the first one. If you feel you are struggling with a particular question, SKIP it first and come back to it later if you have time at the end. You can still pass the examination if you have answered the remaining 7 questions well.  

Tip #2: Eliminate the obvious wrong answers and focus your time on the best 2 answers shortlisted.  

There will be a distractor answer and it is often easy to pick this out at first glance. I also used a process of elimination to further narrow down the answers to the final 2 or final one.  

Tip #3: Differentiating between the best and second best answers may require you to read the Question again and again.  

Every mark count! 2 marks between the best and next best may be all it takes to pass or fail your overall examination. Spend time to analyze the Question & Answers after you have narrowed your answers to the final 2. Underline Keywords and “score” the answer using a series of + and -, like you are grading your own work. Often, you will find the best answer is the one with the all pluses and no minuses, which leads me to the next Tip.  

Tip #4: Generic vs Specific Answers – Read the question and understand what the question is seeking to test you.  

Sometimes, the generic answer containing all the right ITIL statements may seems like the best answer BUT if the question asked for “your recommendation,” “what specific actions would you take,”  then the Generic answer may not be the best answer. You should look for the Answer that is more specifically related to the case study or scenario. 

Tip#5: Sign up for a course with a credible, authorized ITIL training center. Prepare yourself using the sample examination papers available.  

Study the materials and make full use of the classroom session to understand ITIL concepts and how they are applied. As this is case study and scenario-based examination, plain memory work will not be enough. A good ITIL training center should provide tips and exercises to prepare you well for the certification examination.

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